Becoming paperless : fostering adoption of health information technology
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Health information technologies (HIT) are revolutionizing healthcare organizations and significantly transforming how services are provided, managed, and accessed. The shift away from paper-based charts to electronic clinical information systems, although beneficial, is fraught with challenges. Research into fostering adoption of HIT at Alberta Health Services revealed that the technology itself is often an obstacle and workflow flexibility and adaptability is required. In addition, HIT accentuates availability, ownership, and value of information. This action research study engaged healthcare providers and representatives from Health Information Management, Information Technology, and Medical Affairs Departments. Interviews and a focus group revealed that change needs to be focused on people, relationships are strengthened through inquiry and sharing, ownership improves attitudes and behaviours, and positive leadership in change is essential. Recommendations offer opportunities in how the Health Information Program, through increased collaboration, can play key roles in reframing perceptions of HIT, improving workflow design, and providing local level support to foster adoption.
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